What on earth is a swing or Wiggle Dress??

What on earth is a swing or Wiggle Dress??

I remember when I first embraced this style of fashion, I learnt there were dresses with big skirts and dresses that went straight down. That was about the extent of my knowledge! However, there are loads of terms that get thrown around in Pin Up world that honestly most people would wonder what have they got themselves into! I mean a wiggle dress, what is this? Or a swing dress….. Does this mean that they are the best dress to swing in…? Here I will attempt to explain the difference between a swing and a wiggle dress.


  • Swing Dress – Traditionally a full circle skirt (this means if you were to lay the skirt flat, you would have a full circle), tea length (half way between knees and ankles) with a fitted bodice to the waist. The full circle skirt can be pleated at the waist and worn with a petticoat to create an even fuller skirt look. Swing dancers often choose to wear a swing dress with a different colour petticoat to show off a different colour under the skirt when dancing. This style will almost also have pockets in the side seams and is undeniably comfortable! Traditional fabrics include polka dots, gingham and florals for day time wear and solid deep colours with gloves for evening wear.


  • Wiggle Dress – A wiggle dress or skirt has also been known as a pencil dress or skirt in modern fashion terms. A wiggle dress is a form fitting design that hugs your curves. It is traditionally a little shorter than a Swing Dress however would still be a minimum of knee length. The hem line is narrower than the hip line causing the wearer to take smaller steps when walking and therefore wiggling! Now this is the definition of a wiggle dress however most inspired wiggle dresses will have a little more room in them these days to allow them to be worn more comfortably. My definition of a wiggle is a dress that you must wiggle to get into!


So, then the next question is usually which style is better for a particular body shape? And I can honestly say that I cannot answer that! I have seen many ladies in both Swing and Wiggle dresses and in just about every instance, the one they look the best in, is the one they are most comfortable in. So, if you think you can’t pull off a wiggle dress, or that a swing would be too much, my advice is to just try them! You never know, trying something new could open up a whole new world of wiggle or swing goodness!

Older Post Newer Post